Multitasking and other consumer behavioural trends are challenging the app marketers of tomorrow

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising

October 31, 2017

Consumer measurement company, Verto Analytics, has just revealed which consumer behaviour trends are shaping 2017. The Consumer Behavior in 2018: Four Trends to Watch report is based on data gathered between June 2016 and July 2017 among US consumers aged 18+.
Trend 1 – Personal Assistant devices
The market penetration for personal assistant devices jumped 295% between the start of 2016 and August 2017 to 16 million users.
Among the smart and assistant devices available, the Amazon Echo, Apple and Samsung have driven demand. By May 2018, personal assistant devices may near a 10% penetration rate to make consumer-targeted voice assistants a good opportunity for brands, publishers and advertisers to expand their audience reach.
Trend 2 – Is mobile gaming stagnating?
Meanwhile, mobile gaming may have reached a plateau. Since Pokémon GO there hasn’t been a definitive hit mobile game. Pokémon GO drove AR and role-playing games by claiming 14 million monthly users back in July 2017, but since then the mobile gaming user numbers have stabilized and user engagement time may have flattened. Ultimately, this creates a challenging landscape for new developers looking to publish their games.

Trend 3 – Users are spending more time with entertainment apps
Good news for entertainment apps with the average user time increasing 11.5 hours per month across mobile devices and desktops, and 23% on tablets. Meanwhile, things aren’t looking quite as good for social media and communications apps where usage seems to have stagnated. Although users are still spending the majority of their time using communications and social apps (41%), usage dropped 1% from June 2016 to July 2017. Online news publishers are seeing some of the more significant declines in app usage.
Time spent using an app is a key indicator for many developers and app publishers to measure app success and audience reach. Entertainment apps have been turning to native ads to help brands attract new audiences.

Trend 4 – Multitasking is in
Between the time period measured, the number of consumers who engaged with more than four apps daily on mobile devices increased by 10% to 143 million adults in the US. Verto Analytics points out that 36% of an average daily user’s device session consisted of multitasking sessions, up from 34% in 2016. By the start of 2018, more than 149 million US adults are predicted to engage with multitasking sessions.
The trend means that advertisers and brands will have to seriously reconsider how they are going to target and reach their intended audiences. Questions such as which apps trigger multitasking behaviours must be answered in order to create meaningful campaigns.

Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics, explains:

“With endless options for communication, entertainment, and content consumption, it’s no surprise that consumer behavior is changing on a daily, even hourly, basis. As we move into 2018, the rise of consumer-targeted artificial intelligence, new and improved channels for content, and the frequency of multitasking will have a significant influence on the way consumers interact, or don’t interact, with their devices. Publishers, brand and advertisers alike must understand this fluctuating consumer behavior to maintain a healthy user base and know where to invest.”